The digital currency craze is upon us, and a shortage of graphics cards along with it. There has been an ongoing battle among video gamers and crypto miners over these small fortune-getter chips. Tuesday was a “make it or break it” day, as Nvidia intervened once more to stop its most popular graphics cards from exploitation by crypto miners. 

This action is taken to ease an ongoing shortage that impacts mainly video gamers and highlights the thriving demand coming from cryptocurrency devotees as digital coin prices spiked sharply this year. Nvidia claims that they’ve deliberately limited their most popular video gaming cards, thus lowering their calculations potential needed for validating transactions on the ethereum networks. 

Mining involves solving complex math problems and getting fractions of digital tokens in return for the computing work – a trending, highly-compensating venture which gained traction in recent years, followed by the price soars. Nvidia’s GPUs were originally designed to render HQ videos and images in real-time, challenging due to a large amount of data that needs to be processed. This technology is the baseline of AI, considered one of the most data-using and demanding computing tasks out there, along with crypto mining. 

Significant demand in the crypto world for high-powered silicon creates a problem Nvidia faces because dedicated video gamers with large followings cannot buy the newest graphics cards. Another problem faced by Nvidia is their earnings being tied to large swings in the cryptocurrency marketplaces, which led to significant losses back in 2018 when crypto prices fell sharply. The limitation of graphics cards can also benefit the company by persuading crypto enthusiasts to purchase a new family of chips, especially for mining, named Cryptocurrency Mining Processors. 

Video gaming cards are easily adapted for mining Ether, thus the immense appeal. This comes as no surprise, given that the Ethereum network sweeps about 90 percent of crypto rewards mined with repurposed GPUs. The challenge faced by Nvidia in fending off crypto miners from using gaming chips without pushing them away from GPUs entirely is handled in a balanced matter, experts claim. 

Two Nvidia chips submitted to testing, RTX 3080 and 3090, to be exact, have proven to be the best by a margin compared to different graphics cards used for mining the Ethereum network. The coins price soared sixfold starting January before a recent pullback, totaling the supply’s value to nearly $400 billion, half of Bitcoins total value. 

Nvidia made its first move early this year by limiting the capacity of one of its cards, RTX 3060. A similar action followed in May when Nvidia announced that it would also restrict the latest 3070 and 3080 graphics cards targeted at the most serious gamers, along with the last version of the 3060 graphics cards. 

Will these limitations aid Nvidia in its plan to redirect miners away from these graphics used by video gamers and to their mining-purposed new series of chips? Only time will tell, but until then, the crypto mining industry will most definitely continue to grow strong and will find new ways to attain crypto rewards with greater ease.